How Untreated Hearing Loss Impacts Quality of Life
The thing about hearing loss is that it’s easy to ignore. You can deny it for years, compensating for poor hearing by turning up the volume on your phone or TV and pressuring people to repeat themselves.
But in combination with the strain this places on personal relationships, there are additional, hidden consequences of untreated hearing loss that are not as conspicuous but more concerning.
Listed below are six possible consequences of untreated hearing loss.
1. Missing out
Hearing loss can cause you to lose out on vital conversations and common sounds like birds chirping or the sound of rain on the rooftop. Common household sounds continuously fade as your private world of sound narrows.
2. Anxiety and depression
A study by the National Council on the Aging revealed that those with untreated hearing loss age 50 and older were more likely to report depression, anxiety, and paranoia and were less sociable as compared to those who wore hearing aids.
Hearing loss can bring about impaired relationships, anxiety, social isolation, and ultimately depression. Hearing loss can be upsetting and embarrassing and can have considerable emotional effects.
3. Cognitive decline
Hearing loss can affect your thinking and memory. Johns Hopkins Medicine found that those with hearing loss experienced rates of cognitive decline 30-40 percent faster than people with normal hearing.
The rate of decline depends upon the degree of hearing loss, but on average, those with hearing loss developed considerable impairment in cognitive skill 3.2 years sooner than those with normal hearing.
4. Listening fatigue
Listening requires energy, and when you fight to hear certain words or have to continually fill in the blanks, the additional effort is exhausting. Individuals with hearing loss describe higher levels of fatigue at the days end, particularly following long meetings or group activities.
5. Diminished work performance
The Better Hearing Institute found that, according to a survey of more than 40,000 households, hearing loss negatively influenced yearly household income by an average of as much as $12,000. The financial impact was directly connected to the extent of hearing loss.
The findings make sense. Hearing loss can cause communication problems and mistakes on the job, limiting productivity, promotions, and in some cases taking people out of the marketplace.
6. Safety concerns
People with hearing loss can fail to hear alarm systems, sirens, or other alerts to potentially hazardous circumstances. They’re also more likely to have a history of falling.
According to a study from Johns Hopkins University, hearing loss has been associated with an increased risk of falling. Those with mild hearing loss were nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling and the likelihood of falling increased as hearing loss became more serious.
The truth is hearing loss is not just a trivial annoyance—it has a variety of physical, mental, and social consequences that can considerably reduce an individual’s overall quality of life. But the good news is that it’s virtually all preventable.
Most of the consequences we just reviewed are the result of diminished sound stimulation to the brain. Modern hearing aids, while not able to restore hearing completely to normal, nevertheless can provide the amplification necessary to avoid most or all of these consequences.
That’s why the majority of patients are pleased with their hearing aid’s overall performance. It allows them to effortlessly understand speech, hear without continuously struggling, and enjoy the sounds they’ve been missing for years.
Don’t risk the consequences—test the new technology and find out for yourself how your life can improve.